PMU pledges a further €8m in financial support for retailers

French horse racing giant Pari-Mutuel Urbain (PMU) has pledged a further €8m (£7.2m/$9.7m) in funding for its retail partners affected by novel coronavirus (Covid-19).


The sum is to be distributed to cafes and bars that sell PMU products and were forced to shut twice as a result of the pandemic.

These venues, the operator said, faced major cash flow problems as a result of France’s two lockdowns, which threaten their survival.

This prompted PMU to make €15m available to its retail network when the first lockdown was eased from May, to help venues quickly resume activity.

It doubled commission paid out for customer stakes for a month, and offered retailers assistance with implementing government-mandated public safety measures.

Following discussions with retailers, PMU will increase the financial support offered to its network to €23m, with the additional €8m to be distributed to the 3,500 retailers closed during November’s second lockdown.

It will cover a month’s rent for the 1,500 retailers in greatest need, and 50% of a monthly rent payment for an additional 2,000. Each venue will be eligible for a grant of up to €2,500 from the operator.

“This new network support plan is an act of solidarity towards our most affected café-bar partners, some of whom have not had any income since the end of October,” PMU managing director Cyril Linette said. “These traders, who are now facing a completely unprecedented economic situation, are part of the PMU team; they are the architects of conviviality and the social bond created by horse racing throughout France,” Linette said. “As such, it is therefore important for us to be by their side and to invest to support their recovery."

In November France Galop, the governing body for flat and steeplechase racing in the country, revealed that the industry was losing €15m per month under lockdown.

This, it added, meant that should the lockdown be extended, could prevent funding for trainers and racetracks being increased in 2021.